Before he took questions in his postgame press conference following Kansas’s 77-59 win over Kansas State, Jayhawks coach Bill Self delivered a statement, and an apology to his opponents (watch it here):
“I’d like to apologize to the K-State team, and their program, coaches, players, for the unsportsmanlike act that one of our players did at the end of the game that was totally classless. I guarantee it’ll never happen again.”
What could’ve been so heinous? This gentle dunk by junior guard Brannen Greene as time expired:
Self was annoyed that Greene didn’t merely hold the ball to run out the clock, and that’s fair: a ball-handler on the winning team who’s not being guarded in the final seconds of a blowout is entered in an implicit contract where he agrees not to take advantage it. But emotions run high in an in-state rivalry, and Greene was still thrumming from an important four-point play to close the first half, and the way to handle this is probably in private.
Instead, Self aired Greene out a second time, on his postgame radio interview.
“Brannen Greene, we’ve put up with him doing some stuff in the past, but that was probably the biggest dick move I’ve ever had a player do during a game.
“To dunk the ball like that when the other team — even their players are going, ‘How disrespectful to the game.’ It certainly showed unbelievably poor sportsmanship.”
Self and Brannen have a history. Brannen was suspended five games earlier this season after a locker-room argument over playing time. It goes back longer than that, even: last spring Greene’s father had to deny rumors that his son was planning to transfer.
This season, Greene is averaging 6.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in 14.1 minutes per game. He played only six minutes last night.